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MAI LAI

The soldier bursts
from his chrysalis
of learnt morality
enfolded by flame
and fat rat stench
of the battlefield
emerging in the end
the mirror image
of the enemy
he hunts and kills.

The sound of his passage
marked by the crunching
of brittle birth cases
and sharp light
reflected from bone shards
lying in disarray
on the trench tops
and seeing in horror
as he is pushed forward
by the national will
that in the end
he will be like them.

The hunter is the hunted
terrorist by metamorphosis
brutality spawning rage
and numbed psyches -
non human non person
machines of death
ruthless and devoid
of tears or emotion
and killing in the end
for the sheer joy of it
and the ultimate display
of arrogant power.

Pregnant women in black
and steel-ripped children
lying in the green spikes
of the rice fields, tipped,
with sun-dried blood,
and living rooms of the world
sucking their breath in
with horror and bright anger,
momentarily.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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